Tuesday

Knysna and Dolphins: Eco-labelled Marine Boat Cruise


South Africa and the Garden Route in the Western Cape Province are amongst the top dream destinations of most people. Knysna, a small town on the Garden Route, that sits between George and Plettenberg Bay, is one of the shining stars because of the picture-perfect lagoon, the ocean, and the enchanting forest.

One of the best things about South Africa is her wildlife. Everyone wants to see lions, rhinoceros, giraffes, zebras, and leopards in their natural habitat. Obviously, despite persistent rumours, you wouldn't meet zebras and lions on Bree Street in Cape Town. In most places in South Africa, even in and around town centres, you'd see exotic birds, the kind of you never even knew existed, as in Flamingos, sunbirds, and penguins. Then there are troops of chacma baboons, who live also close to the centres of towns, some often even visit the locals. Vervet monkeys are mostly found in towns that are near forests, and you’d see them sitting on a fence munching on fruits and leaves. Then there is Cape Fur Seals, and in Knysna, only minutes from the centre of town, you can see dolphins. You would need to watch the ocean from a cliff or jump on a boat and go on a short ride through the Knysna heads and further on onto the Indian Ocean to see them. Imagine, that the pod size along the Garden Route is on average 120 dolphins. That is overwhelmingly impressive, and absolutely the sort of wildlife spectacle one dreams to experience on vacation. I go on a boat tour and see lots of dolphins and a baby dolphin.

Travel South Africa. eco labelled marine boat cruise in Knysna.The Touristin

Thursday

UNESCO Heritage listed De Hoop Nature Reserve - Guide for First Time Visitors



South Africa is a country of outstanding beauty. Her people, her colours, her scents make her one of the most perfect travel destinations ever. One of South Africa’s secrets is her biodiversity. How fantastic is it, that if you go on a road trip through the different provinces of the country, you will travel through eight different biomes? These are different ecological life zones, that have the same geography and climate, and in which plants and wildlife form an ecosystem. De Hoop Nature Reserve is home to the Cape Floral Kingdom.

Coming from Cape Town, one will have to drive through the Hottentots (Khoikhoi) Holland Mountains via Sir Lowry’s Pass just after Somerset West to reach the Overberg region. The Overberg region, that is picturesque small towns, world-class wine, and farmland, with canola fields as far as the eye can see, under a wide sky that is sometimes dotted with big fluffy Cumulus clouds.

Guide for First Time Visitors to UNESCO Heritage listed De Hoop Nature Reserve The Touristin

Monday

Travel Slovakia. Bratislava Guide for First Time Visitors


Slovakia’s capital Bratislava sits smack bang between Hungary and Austria, and it is easy to reach by car from Munich, Vienna or Prague. There is lots of culture, and if you are a fan of nature, you can already see the Little Carpathians from viewpoints in the city. Bratislava has a picture-perfect old town with cornices, bay windows and magnificent entrances. Many facades are either painted in gaudy lolly colours or softly decorated in pastel. In the old town, the streets are lively with restaurant goers, and café and pub visitors. It is a vibrant atmosphere, and there is lots going on all over town.

When it comes to Slovakia, most are wondering whether it was part of the former Yugoslavia or of the former Czechoslovakia. It is complicated. As a result of the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and its independence from it, in 1918 Slovakia and the Czech Republic formed Czechoslovakia.

What to expect from the Bratislava Guide for First Time Visitors?

I guide you to a bright blue art nouveau church. I show you murals in an open-air street art gallery. I am going to tell you about Shared Cities: Creative Momentum, a European cultural platform addressing the contemporary urban challenges of European cities. We will visit a food hall where locals are selling artisan products, and a Rococo palace fit for a queen. You get to know a count who needed a palace while he was the highest official of Bratislava in the middle of the 19th century. We make our way to a flying saucer from where we have a fantastic view over the little Carpathians. You will learn how to get to Bratislava, the best time to travel to Bratislava, and what language they speak in Bratislava. Plus vegetarian friendly cafés and restaurants and where to sleep (a hotel that has the most amazing travel story to tell).
 
Travel Slovakia. Bratislava Guide for First Time Visitors